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Residents free to return

POSTED: September 12, 2017 10:46 a.m.

South Bryan County residents, including the city of Richmond Hill, are free to return immediately. The decision was announced at 11 a.m. by Richmond Hill Mayor Harold Fowler and County Commissioners Chair Carter Infinger.

Gov. Nathan Deal said this morning that the mandatory evacuation for all residents east of I-95 remains in place unless local officials say it is now OK to return.

Deal said he was leaving the decision up to local jurisdictions because they know exactly what limitations and public safety issues may or may not remain.

Most roads in Bryan County are in the process of being cleared, and about 3,900 customers remain without power.

Officials ask that people be cautious upon returning, and remind drivers that the same "slow down or change lanes" law that applies to first responder vehicles also applies to utility vehicles with flashing yellow lights that are being used by crews to repair or replace power lines.

The evacuation order did not apply to Pembroke or the rest of North Bryan County, although officials there are asking residents to use caution due to downed trees and power lines, as well as flooded ditches.

Bryan County Schools remain closed through Wednesday at minimum.

Neither the county nor city are under a boil water advisory.

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